Golf Glossary: Everything You Need To Know About Golf
It can take years on the course to become an expert in the terminology of golf. The only thing golfers may enjoy more than a few drinks after their round is finding better ways to describe their golf shots. Here is my golf glossary C – D. These golf sayings are always tweaking and changing. So here is my easy guide in one place.
I’ve pulled together a total glossary of golfing terms and slang. I’m pretty sure it covers 99% of everything you need to know!
Comment below – did I miss any favorites?
The clubhead is the part of the golf clubmore power in their swing that is used to strike the ball. It is connected securely to the shaft of the club. The clubhead can come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, which can affect the ball’s flight and the golfer’s swing. For beginners, it is recommended to start with game improvement irons or cavity back irons, which are more forgiving and easier to hit.
Casual water is an area of water that is not a fixed feature of the course, which a player may take relief from. It must be visible before or after the player takes his stance to qualify as casual water. This means that if the ball is in casual water, the player can move the ball without penalty to the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole. Casual water is often found after heavy rain or on low-lying areas of the course.
Any of the parts of the golf club, including the clubhead, shaft, grip, and ferrule, is called a component. Each component can affect the club’s performance and the golfer’s swing, so it is essential to understand the different components of a golf club. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a set of clubs that come as a package, rather than building a set of custom clubs.
Choke down is a technique used by golfers when they need to hit the ball with more control, but they don’t want to sacrifice too much distance. It involves holding the grip of the club lower down (towards the clubhead) than normal, which has the effect of shortening the club and decreasing distance and increasing control. This technique is commonly used when a player finds himself in-between clubs.
Cross Handed Grip
The cross-handed grip, also known as left-hand low, is a grip of the club which sees the right-handed golfer place their left hand higher up the grip than the right. This is the opposite of the conventional grip used in golf. Although not exclusively, it is predominantly used in putting by players who wish to eliminate the problem of wrist break or the “yips.” It can also be useful for golfers who struggle with slicing the ball.
Compression is the process that the ball undergoes when it is hit. The clubhead deforms the ball, and the rate of the deformation is termed compression or softness. For beginners, it is recommended to use golf balls with a low compression rating, as they are easier to compress and can provide more distance and control.
To concede is to acknowledge that you do not have a likely chance of winning the hole or match and allowing your opponent the privilege of not having to complete a putt, hole-out or finish the match. This is most commonly done when the opponent has a very short putt, which he is not likely to miss, and is a sporting gesture rather than an admission of defeat. Conceding a putt can save time and maintain the pace of play.
Chunk (or Fat)
Chunk or fat is a term used to describe a poorly struck shot that results in hitting the ground before the ball, usually causing the ball to travel a short distance. It is a common mistake made by beginners, and it can be caused by improper weight transfer or incorrect ball position.
Chilli Dip (or Fat)
Chilli dip, also known as a fat shot, is a shot that is struck heavy, causing the clubhead to hit the ground before the ball. It is similar to a chunk, but the ball usually travels even less distance. Chilli dip is often caused by improper weight transfer or a swing that is too steep.
Cut, 1st, 2nd
The cut is the area of grass adjacent to the fairway and is usually of a constant length (often called light rough). The first cut lies beyond the fairway and is longer grass (often called intermediate rough). The second cut is further from the fairway and is even longer grass (often called heavy rough). The length and thickness of the rough can affect the difficulty of hitting the ball, and golfers should adjust their club selection and shot strategy accordingly.
A chip-in is a chip shot that results in the ball being holed. It is an impressive shot that can save strokes and provide a momentum boost. Chipping is an essential skill for beginners to learn, as it can help them save strokes around the green.
A chip is a shot that is propelled towards the green and onto the green from a short distance at a low height. Chipping requires a shorter and more controlled swing than a full shot, and it is often used around the green to get the ball closer to the hole. Beginners should practice chipping to improve their short game.
The cup is a description of the hole, including the plastic or metal base and sides often found in holes. The size and depth of the cup can affect the golfer’s putting, and beginners should be aware of the cup’s position and size when putting.
A closed stance is a stance that sees the golfer position their feet in such a way that if you were to draw a line from toe to toe, the line would aim to the right of the aimline in front of the golfer (for a right-handed player). A closed stance can be used to help the golfer hit a draw shot, which is a shot that curves to the left (for a right-handed player).
Collar (or Fringe)
The collar, also known as the fringe, is the area of grass that surrounds the green. It is cut slightly longer than the green and is often used by golfers to putt or chip from. Shots from the collar require a different technique than shots from the green, and beginners should practice both to improve their short game.
Carry is the distance the ball travels through the air before hitting the ground. It is an essential measurement for golfers when selecting clubs and shots, as it can help them determine how much distance they need to cover to reach their target.
Check (or Backspin)
Check, also known as backspin, is a word used to describe the spin of the ball after it hits the ground. Backspin can help the ball stop quickly on the green, which can be useful for approach shots. Beginners should practice hitting shots with backspin to improve their control around the green.
Cubic Centimetres, CC
Cubic centimeters, or CC, is a measurement of the volume of a clubhead, used to determine the size of fairway woods and drivers. The limit for a driver as stipulated by the R&A and the USGA is 460cc. A larger clubhead can provide more forgiveness and distance, but it can also be more difficult to control.
A chipper is a club designed and used solely for chipping the ball. They are mainly an aid for golfers who struggle while chipping with other clubs. Chipper has a loft similar to a putter, but it has a heavier head and a shorter shaft, which can provide more control and consistency on chip shots.
The course handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives on a specific course, based on their handicap index. It is used to adjust the golfer’s score to make the game fair for all players. Beginners should familiarize themselves with their course handicap to help them plan their shots and keep track of their score.
A centre-shafted putter is a putter that has the connection between the clubhead and the shaft in the centre of the clubhead, as opposed to the heel on all other golf clubs. This type of putter can provide a more balanced stroke and better alignment, but it may not be suitable for all golfers.
Carpet is a nickname given to an area of shorter grass such as the fairway or the green. Shots hit from the carpet are generally easier to hit than shots hit from the rough, and beginners should aim to hit the ball onto the carpet whenever possible.
A closed face is when the clubface is aligned so that its face points to the left of the aimline (for a right-handed player). This can result in a draw shot, which curves to the left (for a right-handed player), but it can also cause the ball to hook excessively if the swing path is not corrected.
Core strength refers to the power stored in the muscles of the abdominals and back. A strong core can help golfers maintain their balance and generate more power in their swing. Beginners should work on developing their core strength through exercises such as planks and crunches.
COR (or Coefficient of Restitution)
COR, or Coefficient of Restitution, is the efficiency of energy transfer from one object to another. With regard to drivers, this is the efficiency of the clubhead in transferring energy to the ball. A higher COR can allow for greater ball speed and greater distance in drivers. The legal COR limit set by the R&A and USGA is 0.83. Beginners should be aware of the COR of their clubs to help them select the right club for each shot.
Claggy lie is a British term for a muddy or wet lie. A claggy lie can affect the golfer’s ability to hit the ball cleanly and can result in a poor shot. Golfers should adjust their technique and club selection to compensate for a claggy lie.
A cut shot is a shot that results in a higher trajectory than normal with greater backspin and sidespin to the right (for a right-handed player). It is used to help keep the ball on the green after it lands. Beginners should practice hitting cut shots to improve their short game.
Cavity back irons have a hollowed-out area at the back of the club. This is so that the weight taken out can be redistributed elsewhere. The redistribution of weight then creates a more forgiving club. Cavity back irons can be easier to hit and provide more distance and forgiveness than blades, which have a solid back. Beginners should consider cavity back irons to help them improve their game.
Casting the Club
Casting the club is when the wrists unhinge too early in the downswing, resulting in a loss of clubhead speed. This can cause the ball to go left or right and can result in a poor shot. Beginners should work on maintaining their wrist hinge throughout the swing to prevent casting the club.
The crown is the top part of the clubhead on a wood. Some woods like the ERC Fusion series incorporate a lightweight carbon-fibre crown with a titanium clubface and sole. The crown can affect the weight distribution and performance of the club, and beginners should choose clubs with a crown that suits their swing.
Centre of Gravity (CG or COG)
The centre of gravity, or CG, is the location in space where the weight of the clubhead is centred. It may be located either on or off the clubhead and is often misinterpreted as the sweet spot. A low centre of gravity gives a club a higher trajectory shot than a club with a higher CG, provided the loft is the same. Beginners should be aware of the CG of their clubs to help them select the right club for each shot.
Cock wrist is a motion that is used in certain golf shots. If you hold your hands out in front of you with your palms touching, it is the movement in your wrists which brings your hands up and closer towards you. This motion can help golfers generate more power and accuracy in their shots, but it requires practice to master.
A chip-and-run is an attempt to play the ball along the ground as a chip is performed, although from a greater distance. This shot can be used to avoid obstacles or hazards near the green and is a useful shot for beginners to learn.
A caddy or caddie is an attendant who accompanies you around the course, usually with good local course knowledge. Caddies often give advice and are expected to carry and clean your clubs during the round. Beginners may choose to use a caddy to help them navigate the course and improve their game.
A cart or buggy is a small electric vehicle that is used to transport people around the golf course. Golfers can rent carts or buggies to help them navigate the course and reduce the physical strain of walking.
To commit to a shot is to maintain your spine angle throughout the shot and not lift your head (and shoulders). It is also used to mean a complete follow-through, especially in a chip or putt. Not committing to a shot often results in topped shots in the full swing and poor distance control and hitting the ball heavy when chipping. Beginners should work on committing to their shots to improve their accuracy and consistency.
Cast is the process by which, or having the properties of, a clubhead that is created by pouring molten metal into a cast. This is an easier way to mass-produce golf clubs compared with forging. Beginners should be aware of the manufacturing process of their clubs to understand their properties and performance.
Deep rough is any grass which is long enough to significantly affect the striking of the ball. Shots hit from the deep rough can be difficult to control and may result in a poor shot. Beginners should aim to avoid the deep rough whenever possible and adjust their technique and club selection to compensate for it when necessary.
A double eagle is another term for an albatross, which is a score of three under par for a hole. This is a rare feat in golf and is something that most beginners may never achieve.
A divot is the turf or grass that is removed from the ground during a golf shot, or the hole that is left behind. This is a normal occurrence on the fairway or in the rough (or if using an iron from the tee). Etiquette suggests that you should retrieve the displaced turf and cover the hole as best as you can, or in some cases, placing sand in the hole to assist re-growth.
A driving iron is another name for the 1 or 2 iron, often one with a larger, more forgiving head than usual. Beginners may choose to use a driving iron to improve their accuracy and distance off the tee.
Each golf ball has a series of indentations on the surface of the ball. These dimples allow the ball to travel more aerodynamically (and further) than if the ball was smooth. Dimple patterns are a way to maximize the aerodynamic properties of the golf ball. Beginners should be aware of the dimple pattern of their golf balls to ensure they are using the right ball for their game.
Drive the Green
To drive the green is to hit the ball onto the green in one shot. This is usually reserved for par 4 or 5 holes, although it is sometimes used on long par 3 holes. Beginners may aim to drive the green as a long-term goal, but should focus on improving their accuracy and consistency before attempting such shots.
To duff is to mis-hit a shot, usually hitting it fat. This can result in a poor shot with little distance or accuracy. Beginners may experience duffed shots as they are learning the proper technique and timing for their swing.
The downswing is the part of the golf swing that starts when the golfer changes the direction of the club and starts to swing the club toward the ball. It occurs between the backswing and impact with the ball. Beginners should focus on a smooth and consistent downswing to improve their accuracy and distance.
The driver is the longest golf club. It is usually 43 to 45 ½ inches long and has a loft that varies from 7 degrees to 14 degrees (sometimes higher, especially in ladies’ clubs). The head size is generally between 300cc and 460cc, although they used to be considerably smaller. The primary material used by top drivers is titanium, although steel is often used, and other materials like aluminum and graphite/carbon fiber are also occasionally used. Beginners should choose a driver that is appropriate for their skill level and swing speed.
Hitting a ball dead is to hit a shot that leaves the next putt a certainty. This is a desirable outcome for golfers, as it increases their chances of making a successful putt. Beginners should aim to hit their shots with dead weight whenever possible.
A deep face is a clubface that is relatively high from top to bottom. This is the opposite of a shallow face or low profile. Beginners may choose a club with a deep face to help them get the ball in the air more easily.
Double Bend Shaft
A double-bend shaft is a type of shaft used with some putters to allow for different amounts of offset and for visual purposes. For example, some allow a clearer view of the golf ball at address, giving a better view for alignment. Beginners may experiment with different types of putter shafts to find one that is comfortable and effective for their putting style.
A dogleg is a hole that has a significant turn in the fairway (left or right). Golfers must adjust their strategy and club selection to compensate for the dogleg and aim for the optimal landing area. Beginners should aim to avoid hazards and obstacles near the dogleg and focus on hitting accurate shots to the fairway.
These are the important golf glossary terms that beginner golfers should know to improve their understanding and appreciation of the game.
If you’re looking to improve your golf why not check out our other article on the best cheap golf rangefinders, or have a look at our best golf balls for beginner golfers. We also review the best golf simulators to help improve your golf whilst at home.